Windows 11 automatically caches frequently accessed data from your open applications and background processes into system memory. This is called RAM cache or Memory cache. Since RAM is much faster than traditional storage (SSDs, HDDs, etc.), it allows the system to access what it needs much more quickly. While useful, the same memory cache can also cause problems such as unresponsive applications due to outdated or invalid cache data, slow system performance, issues with memory-hogging applications like games or media editing software, etc. In those cases, clearing RAM cache will improve the overall system performance.
On Windows 11, you have four ways to delete RAM cache. I will show all four methods in this tutorial, follow the one you like.
- Restart your computer
- Close Unnecessary Programs
- Use RAMMap
Let’s see each method in detail:
1. Restart your computer
RAM is a volatile memory all data in it is lost on power off or restart. That means, when you restart your computer, all the cached data in RAM is automatically cleared. Along with cached data, all open and background applications are also closed and deleted from temporary memory. Follow the below steps to restart your computer.
Step 1: Save your work.
Step 2: Close all open windows.
Step 3: Right-click on the Start icon on the Taskbar.
Step 4: Select the Shut down or Sign out > Restart option.
With that, the system will restart and the RAM cache is cleared. If you want, you can schedule restart Windows so that the system will automatically restart at a specified time and doesn’t cause workflow disruptions.
Note: You must restart your computer, not shut down. Shutting down and starting the computer may not work due to the Fast Boot technology in Windows 11.
2. Close Unnecessary Programs
Every open application and background process consumes system RAM. If your computer has a lot of open programs and background processes, it consumes a lot of RAM and increases the RAM cache size. To improve the system performance, you can close all unnecessary open applications and background processes to clear the RAM cache. For example, if you don’t use OneDrive, there is no reason to let OneDrive run in the background and consume precious RAM storage.
To close an open program, bring it to the foreground and press the X icon on the top-right corner of the window. Some applications might minimize when you click the X button. In that case, select the Exit/Quit option in the application. For instance, to close the OneDrive application, right-click on the OneDrive icon on the taskbar and choose Quit OneDrive.
You can close memory-hogging background processes from Task Manager. Right-click on the taskbar and choose the Task Manager option. Go to the Processes tab, right-click on the background process you want to close, and select the End Task option. It will instantly close the background process and frees the RAM cache.
3. Use RAMMap
If you don’t want to restart your system or close open programs and background processes, you can use a free Microsoft Sysinternals application called RAMMap. It is a small and lightweight portable application that lets you understand and analyze Windows RAM management and clear RAM cache. Here’s how to download and use RAMMap to delete the memory cache on Windows 11.
Step 1: Follow the below link and download RAMMap from the Microsoft Sysinternals page.
Step 2: After downloading, right-click on the RAMMap zip file and select Extract All.
Step 3: Click the Extract button.
Step 4: Open the extracted folder, right-click on the RAMMap64.exe file, and choose Run as administrator.
Step 5: Click on the Empty > Empty Standby List option at the top.
As soon as you select the option, RAMMap clears the RAM cache. If you open the Task Manager and go to the Performance > Memory page, you will see decreased RAM cache size under the Cached heading at the bottom. In my case, it flushed around 6 GB of RAM cache and the memory usage is also reduced.
That is it. You can follow any of the three methods shown to quickly empty the Windows 11 RAM cache. One thing to keep in mind is that Windows will automatically build up the RAM cache as you use the system. For example, my RAM cache built up to 2 GB within an hour. This is a normal behavior and improves your system performance. Windows automatically manages the RAM cache and its size. If you think the RAM cache is too high or causing system slow-down issues, you can use one of the methods given above to clear it.
%windir%\system32\rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks command clear RAM cache?
Some suggest using the
%windir%\system32\rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks command, or a shortcut created using the command to clean up RAM cache. However, this command doesn’t directly delete the RAM cache. Instead, it only puts your system in an idle state so that Windows can perform pending or scheduled tasks that only run when the system is idle. For example, search indexing is only done when your system is idle (inactive) for a while. It has nothing to do with clearing the RAM cache.
I hope this small tutorial helped you purge RAM cache on Windows 11.
If you are stuck or need help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.